Kenya’s elephant population has been growing since 2014, thanks to successful conservation efforts and a decline in poaching. One community-owned project that contributes to elephant conservation is the production of paper made from elephant dung. The paper is made from dung collected in the area and is sold in Nairobi and neighboring Tanzania. The income from the paper goes back to the community. The Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, which covers 36 square kilometers and is located southwest of Mombasa, plays a crucial role in conserving elephants. The sanctuary is part of a key elephant corridor in the eastern part of the country. The production of elephant dung paper helps reduce illegal logging and provides farmers with an environmentally friendly source of income. However, the recent lifting of the logging ban in Kenya is a concern, as it may lead to increased deforestation and affect the elephant dung paper business. The paper made from elephant dung is of high quality and is in demand from both local and international customers. The process of making the paper is similar to regular paper production, but it uses dung fibers instead of wood. The papermaker believes that society needs more education on sustainable practices and hopes that more people will embrace alternative ways of producing wood and timber products to protect the environment and sustain elephant populations. The success of the Mwaluganje model shows that community ecotourism can be effective in conserving wildlife and benefiting local communities.
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